When juvenile wild salmon migrate to sea this spring, there will be six fewer salmon farms on the coast of BC.
According a press release from the ‘Namgis First Nation (Alert Bay), back in 2019, “three First Nations off northeastern Vancouver Island signed agreements with the federal and provincial governments and the salmon farming companies Cermaq and MOWI for the orderly transition of salmon farms out of their territories in the Broughton Archipelago. The first farms to be removed were those in closest to the Ahta and Viner Rivers where wild salmon runs are near extinction.”
The release also noted that “‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations completed 26 months of talks with government and industry to date. 17 salmon farms are affected over the next four years. In addition to decommissioning farms, these nations now have the authority to screen farm salmon for pathogens before they are transferred from the land-based hatcheries into the marine pens in their territories. They are also working with the companies to reduce the impact of sea lice on juvenile wild salmon. As well, they are working to establish their own genomic laboratory to monitor the health of wild salmon.”
“We all need to do everything we can to ensure the survival of wild salmon,” said hereditary and elected Chief Don Svanvik of the ‘Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay.